PepsiCo is bringing Bubly to the Oscars—not Champagne, but a new sparkling water brand. The beverage giant announced the new offering on Thursday, calling it “one of our biggest product launches” and backing it with two 30-second slots during ABC’s March 4 broadcast of the Academy Awards.

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Bubly will be endorsed by actor Neil Patrick Harris, as reported earlier by industry trade publication Beverage-Digest, although it is not clear whether he will appear in the Oscars advertising. The same ad will air twice during the Oscars, but a PepsiCo spokeswoman declined to elaborate on creative details. The agency behind the work is R/GA.

ABC has already sold 98 percent of the commercial time in the Oscars, with marketers plotting approaches that promote female empowerment amid the “me-too” movement, Rita Ferro, president of sales at Disney-ABC TV Group, recently told Ad Age.

PepsiCo appears poised to take a light-hearted approach with Bubly as it seeks to capitalize on surging growth in the sparkling water category, growth that’s been led so far by brands such as LaCroix and Nestle‘s Perrier. Private label brands also control a large share of the category, according to Beverage-Digest.

Bubly is packaged in bright colors with cans featuring whimsical messages etched on the pull-tab, such as “Hey u,” “hiii,” and “yo.” Other text on the cans include sayings such as “I feel like I can be open around u,” “hold cans with me,” and “love at first phssst.” The brand extended the lighthearted approach to the flavor names, which include Limebubly, Grapefruitbubly, Strawberrybubly, Lemonbubly, Orangebubly, Applebubly, Mangobubly and Cherrybubly (entirely lower-cased on the packaging for that accessible feel).

PepsiCo had previously experimented in the category with sparkling water line extension of its existing water brands, such as Aquafina. The new brand launch, and the significant marketing investment behind it, signals the marketer is in the category for the long haul.

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Watch the latest ads from TGI Friday’s, Lays & Busch Beer

TGI Friday’s 

TGI Friday’s data for the last 30 days
Impressions: 141,118,466 (2% of industry)
Est. TV Spend: $1,219,317 (1% of industry)
Attention Score: 91.94
Attention Index: 99 (1% more interruptions than avg.)


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Lay’s data for the last 30 days
Impressions: 610,738,395 (6% of industry)
Est. TV Spend: $4,392,790 (5% of industry)
Attention Score: 91.88
Attention Index: 77 (23% more interruptions than avg.)

Busch “Bear”



How Diet Coke turned a social video into a Super Bowl spot

The process of making a Super Bowl ad often entails the deployment whiz-bang special effects honed with weeks of editing and fine-tuning. Not so for Diet Coke, which this year converted what was originally supposed to be a quick social media video into its 30-second in-game TV ad.

The spot, by Anomaly Los Angeles, shows actress Hayley Magnus extolling the virtues of Diet Coke’s new Twisted Mango flavor with a little dance. The video was originally meant to be part of a portfolio of tweetable videos for the brand’s new “Because I can” campaign that touts Diet Coke’s new flavor lineup that comes in slim cans.

Magnus improvised the scene while filming in intense heat in east Los Angeles, says Danielle Henry, group director of integrated marketing content for Coca-Cola North America. It was filmed in one take and directed by Paul Feig, whose credits include the “Ghostbusters” reboot and creating the TV series “Freaks and Geeks.”

The brand liked the video so much that it became its Super Bowl ad. The spot marks the first time Diet Coke has run an ad in the game since 1997.

“This little teeny tiny snackable peice of social content ended up being one of the best pieces of content that we have in the campaign because it’s one of the things that best showcases the attitude of Diet Coke’s ‘because I can’—-that being do whatever makes you happy no matter what anyone else thinks,” Henry says.

Magnus is among a larger cast of up-and-coming actors that Diet Coke put in the broader campaign, which debuted in late January. The approach contrasts with the brand’s prior strategy of plucking big-name celebrities and pop stars, like Taylor Swift. Magnus herself plays the character Simone on the Australian TV series “Wrong Girl.”

from Ad Age:

Wendy’s Burns McDonald’s Frozen Beef in Super Bowl Spot.

Wendy’s has a, um, beef to pick with McDonald’s, so it’s calling out its biggest competitor on the ad world’s biggest stage.

The chain said it will return to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a shade-filled message squarely pitting its square burgers against McDonald’s.

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McDonald’s is set to nationally introduce fresh beef patties for some of its burgers this year, but Wendy’s says it always has used fresh beef for all of its burgers. Wendy’s, already well known for bringing the heat on social media, is bringing the message to TV.

Wendy’s 30-second spot from VML starts by highlighting wording on McDonald’s website on how its burgers are “flash frozen.” Then, Wendy’s turns up the snark its fans know all too well.

Wording shown on the screen includes “That iceberg that sank the Titanic was frozen, too” and “Skip the hamburgers at the Frozen Arches.” No words are spoken during the spot.

The ad is set to run during the first quarter. Wendy’s ran its first Super Bowl spot last year, with another message against freezing burgers (“Cold Storage”).

from Ad Age:

BurgerFi Bets on Better Beef in First Big Creative Push

An illusionist, a daredevil and a metalhead mom walk into a burger joint. What might sound like the start of a joke is actually the start of a campaign from BurgerFi, which wants a bigger bite of the “better-burger” business.

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BurgerFi, a name that plays off what the company calls the “burgerfication” of America, launched in 2011. Now, with 98 U.S. locations and 104 overall, plus plans for about 25 more this year, the Florida-based chain is eager to start a bigger marketing push with some big burger talk.

“Fast food means lesser quality, ingredients that contain chemicals and additives and other things that are not the best for us,” says CEO Corey Winograd. “With BurgerFi the idea is that you could have burgers that are clean, with transparent ingredients.”

BurgerFi recently hired Partners & Napier as its first creative agency, and its work on the brand, “Burgers for Every 1,” riffs on the message that BurgerFi uses what it says is the top 1 percent of U.S. beef: Angus beef patties with no additives, antibiotics, chemicals, growth hormones or steroids.

The illusionist, daredevil and mom are meant to humorously depict the top 1 percent of their pretty specific groups. In all, there will be eight characters in the campaign.

As for any possible confusion with the bandied-about term “top one percent of country”—the top percentage of Americans who own almost half the country’s wealth—Winograd isn’t concerned.

“We’re focusing on the opposite aspect of that. It’s not about money, it’s not about economics,” he says of the quirky campaign. “Everyone excels at something. We want to celebrate that.”

Beef burgers, including one where the bun is replaced by lettuce for the mom, are the focus of the first three ads.

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